Cranfield has welcomed three new scholars who join the University as part of its 75th Anniversary Research Fellowship scheme.

Applications for the next round of the scheme, which aims to give a platform for some of the world’s most gifted researchers to make breakthroughs in their fields and develop their future academic career, have now reopened, with a closing date of 7 March 2021.

The three researchers who have joined the University are Dr Dan Evans, Dr Ariel Sun and Dr Namhoon Cho.

Time and space for academics to thrive

Professor Tom Stephenson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Cranfield University, said: “These researchers are hugely talented in their fields of expertise and I’m proud that we are giving them the time and space to thrive. Without the pressure of undergraduate teaching commitments, they can dedicate themselves to advancing their research interests to develop their academic careers.”

The fellowship scheme marks the University’s 75th anniversary and will run until 2027, supporting 30 early career fellowship positions at Cranfield. Successful applicants receive three years of funding to conduct their own independent research and are given access to an enhanced training and development support package.

Passion for soil research – Dr Dan Evans

Dr Dan Evans’ passion for soils research germinated in 2012 when he spent time in Alaska on a Royal Geographical Society Scholarship. He went on to study at Royal Holloway, with prize-winning research on root architecture and soil erodibility, and Lancaster University where he conducted the first isotopic measurements of UK arable soil formation, and the first globally relevant estimates of soil lifespans. His postdoctoral work investigated urban ecosystem services. Dan is Early Career Researcher co-representative for the European Geosciences Union’s Soils division, and National Early Career Researcher Officer for the British Society of Soil Science

Dr Evans has ambitious plans as part of the 75th Fellowship scheme, saying: “I can’t wait to launch my own soils research programme, which will investigate the potential for saprolite (weathered bedrock), underlying rapidly eroding shallow soils, to store and stabilise carbon. Can we engineer saprolite – this final frontier – to become the world’s next food-growing medium?

“From its unparalleled research facilities and strong fusion with industry, to its core corporate values, I know that Cranfield University will transform me as a scientist and support me to engineer more sustainable futures around the globe. I look forward to many exciting collaborations across the research, business, industry, and policy sectors. And most of all, I look forward to celebrating Cranfield’s 75th anniversary, and contributing to the next chapter of its history.”

Global financial research – Dr Ariel Sun

Dr Ariel Sun has academic and professional experience in the global financial industry. She previously held an academic appointment at the University of Essex, and research roles at the International Monetary Fund and Deutsche Bundesbank Research Centre. Dr Sun also worked in the private sector for State Street Global Advisors’ Advanced Research Centre, and most recently Just Group Plc.

Dr Sun said: “I chose to apply for Cranfield University’s 75th Anniversary Research Fellowship Scheme due to Cranfield’s research excellence, and the strength and long tradition of its business school, Cranfield School of Management. I hope to both benefit and contribute to Cranfield’s global impact on academia and industry.”

Robotics in aerospace – Dr Namhoon Cho

Dr Namhoon Cho studied mechanical and aerospace engineering at Seoul National University and is currently a senior research in the Agency for Defense Development, working on guidance and control systems. His research interests include machine learning applications for robotic aerospace systems, trajectory optimisation, and design and analysis of guidance laws for flying vehicles.

Dr Cho’s research links well with the Centre for Autonomous and Cyber-Physical Systems at Cranfield University. He says: “Cranfield University is unique in the area of autonomy and controls for aerospace systems, and it provides excellent opportunities to develop my research by actively engaging with other academics with similar interests.”

Applications for the next round of the 75th Anniversary Research Fellowship scheme will close on 7 March 2021. Further information for would-be applicants can be found here, and additional queries directed to: